THOMASVILLE, GA – February 4, 2019 – The national celebration of Black History Month is a time to honor the contributions of African Americans to our nation’s history. This year, the City of Thomasville is once again working with community partners to celebrate our local history. According to event organizers, 2019’s celebration will include recognition of locations of importance to our own local history, online trivia contests, a parade and other community celebrations.
“Last year, we celebrated our local African American history for the first time as a community and it was very successful,” said Dominic Ford, Community Relations Officer. “We are looking forward to working with an excited local committee of volunteers to expand what we started last year as a true community-wide celebration that will honor our local community’s history.”
This year’s national theme for Black History Month is “Black Migrations,” which will emphasize the movements of people of African descent to new destinations and subsequently to new social realities. Locally, the theme will be honored with a look at “The Power of Place.” “We have many locations that are important and significant to our local African American culture and history,” said Sherri Nix, Public Outreach Manager. “We will focus on these special locations, familiar to many of us, with a special look at why each is important to our local culture.”
The first location reveal will be Monday, February 4th on the City’s Facebook page and website, Thomasville.org. “We will then reveal a new location each Monday,” said Ford. “We will also be incorporating a trivia contest with fun prizes to help make the online celebration more interactive.”
This year’s theme will also be showcased in the City’s first Black History Month parade, scheduled for Saturday, February 23rd at 3:30 p.m. “We are honored to announce that our first Grand Marshal is Mrs. Juanita Lorina Lee “Nita” Varner,” said Nix. “Mrs. Varner was a beloved teacher in our community and the wife of the late W.J. Varner, the last full time principal at Douglass High School. When we began looking for our first Grand Marshal, Mrs. Varner’s name was brought up multiple times. We felt her influence on our community makes her the perfect choice.”
Nix said that applications for parade entries are currently being accepting on the City’s website, Thomasville.org.
Following the parade, the community celebrations will continue with local entertainment showcased at the Municipal Auditorium. The lineup of entertainment includes local singers, dancers and speakers. The evening will culminate in a special movie night screening of “42,” which tells the story of legendary Brooklyn Dodgers baseball player and Cairo native Jackie Robinson and how he demonstrated true courage and let his undeniable talent silence his critics. All events are free of charge and open to the community.
“This celebration of our local African American history is one example of what we can accomplish when we work together, as the idea for a local celebration stemmed from a suggestion that was made by a local citizen. From there, we worked with community volunteers to help organize what we hope will be a fun celebration of an important part of our local history,” said Nix. “We are appreciative of our local volunteers and partners, including the Jack Hadley Black History Museum and Thomasville History Center, who have helped make this event possible.”
For more information on the City’s Black History Month celebration, contact Sherri Nix at 229-227-4154 or visit Thomasville.org.